The Whole Story...

Abstract of PhD Submission

In this thesis I investigate the nature of written responses made to stories in an educational context, which can be characterised as aesthetic transactions with a text [Rosenblatt, 1938, 1978, 1985]. My research develops Guidelines designed to elicit such personally meaningful responses from teachers to pupils' stories as well as from pupils to the stories they read. I map those features which characterise the engaged and appreciative responses that I both made and received from primary and secondary teachers and consider in what respects they may be educationally valuable. I also consider how such responses could offer a form of meaning-related, interpretive assessment for the work of pupils as story writers and story readers.

This thesis also tells the story of my journey as an educational researcher. It acknowledges the mistakes I made, the confusions I grappled with and what I discovered in the course of my investigation about myself as an educator and about the values that underpin my thinking which sustained the whole enterprise.

I offer this thesis, therefore as an original contribution to the nature of engaged and appreciative responses made by teachers as well as by pupils in the field of story writing and story reading.

I offer it as an original contribution to the educational value of such responses as a form of interpretive assessment in the context of classroom teaching and external examining.

I also offer it as an original contribution to educational knowledge - the process of coming to know - as I have sought to construct my developing perceptions as a living educational theory.


You can download the PhD in chapters which are stored in Microsoft Word 6.0 Format
The page numbers and footnotes may change.



Foreword p.1-8

Prologue: Two stories to start with p.9-13

Ch.1.Assembling some maps p.14-25

Ch.2.Voicing my intentions - then other voices join in p.26-37

Ch.3.Three primary excursions p.38-61

Ch.4.I encounter The Knight and the Mushroom p.62-75

Ch.5.Responses to three further stories written by secondary pupils p.76-95

Ch.6.Thorny thickets p.96-100

Ch.7. Sharing our understandings p.101-118

Ch.8.Making my own maps p.119-135

Ch.9.Exploring the field of reader-response theory p.136-181

Ch.10.Asking questions and making connections p.182-216

Ch.11.Moving further afield p.217-239

Ch.12.Reclaiming the imagination p.240-252

Ch.13.Primary pupils’ ‘Secondary Worlds’ p.253-273

Ch.14.Year 8 pupils respond to Ice p.274-289

Ch.15.A Y10 story reader responds to two sets of Guidelines p.290-303

Ch.16.Assessing pupils as story readers p.304-336

Ch.17. Assessing pupils as story writers p.337-353

Ch.18.Does It Matter? p.354-378

Afterword - stories waiting to be told p.379

Bibliography p.380-385

Appendix - All the pupils’ stories p.386-433